If your spending habits have you digging for pennies before the next payday, maybe it's time for a change. Unfortunately, running out of money before payday, especially if you do it over and over, causes a lot of undue stress that can negatively affect your health as well as your pocketbook. However, you can reduce this stress and get back on track with your finances by altering your spending habits. Try these strategies to avoid overspending.
1Create A Loans And Credits Master List
Develop a list of all your loan payments and credit card bills. You'll expand your awareness about the number of creditors you have, the total amount you owe, and the due dates of your monthly payments. On the list, have 5 columns: the name of the creditor, your monthly payment, the due date of each month's payment, the amount of interest you're charged, and the total amount you owe.
2Add Your Monthly Expenses To The List
Next, list things like your rent or mortgage payment, grocery costs, gasoline costs, and anything else you pay monthly. Estimate the amounts for your cable, water, garbage, cell phone, and utility bills using last month's statements. Your master list should reflect all your outgoing expenditures.
3Sort Your Payables According To Priority
Which bills do you see as the most important? Mark them in some way by highlighting or circling them. This way, you will know which one is the top priority.
4Evaluate Non-Priority Bills And Expenses
In looking at non-priority bills, you can most likely discover some areas in which you can lower your costs. Are you spending $30 a week on fancy coffees? Do you stop after work for a few beers with co-workers, two or three days a week? If so, consider the amount of money you spend on these sorts of activities. Mistakes happen, and if you don't check your bills, you could end up paying more than you were supposed to.
5Seek Lower Credit Card Interest Rates
Call your credit card companies to request lower interest rates. Make a notation on your master list of the reduced rates you receive. Also, note any companies that refuse to lower your rates. Make the decision to stop using credit cards with high-interest rates.
6Take Action To Lower Down Your Expenses
Take decisive steps to reduce your expenses. Which expenditures can you cut down? Which can you cut out completely, at least for three months? For example, if you're paying out $180 a month for premium cable channels, you have the power to cut your cable bill simply by picking up the phone and calling the cable company.
7Try To Earn Extra
Consider getting a second job. Then, you can use the extra money you earn to pay off your debts. Recognize, you have the power to change things - you just have to work for it.
8Keep Your Master List Handy
Each time you're about to make a purchase, glance at the list and reflect on your bills. Ask yourself if you truly need what you're about to purchase. Allow yourself to feel proud of this new routine.
9Record Your Feelings On Changes Made
It's a challenge to try to change something about yourself, and how you manage your finances is no different. Write down how you're feeling about adjusting your spending habits. Be optimistic that you can and will change your financial situation.
If you consistently find yourself running out of money, vow to follow these strategies to change your unhelpful behaviors. You have the choice to alter your financial habits in powerful ways. You can do it!
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."